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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1133 Ratings

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  1. Mar 13, 2013
    Overall, an excellent package. Blizzard has carefully crafted this expansion portion of Starcraft 2 to feel very different from Wings of Liberty with respect to its single player campaign, and the effort pays off. By having a different interface between missions used to tell the story, as well as mission structures that tend to favor the "zerging" mentality, they create a very different dynamic in how that story unfolds. Some of the dialogue is a bit on lame side (from a writing perspective, voice acting is top notch as usual), but generally this is a story that has weight and gravity, and sets itself up well for the grand finale with Legacy of the Void. I'm terrible at the competitive multiplayer, but it is still excellent fun (balance is different with new units, but still very tight). Great job Blizzard! Expand
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    the game is everything they promised. if you loved wings of liberty, you'll love this game as well. the multiplayer is running surprisingly smoothly. it's all working just like it did during beta. in fact, there was more lag during the beta than there is now. the slick new interface and leveling system should be a huge draw as well, in case multiplayer is not your particular cup of tea. this is the ultimate pc game, it requires fast hands and quick decision making. the ultimate skill based game for those who love the feeling of constant improvement. Expand
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    I have played Starcraft for 13 years, Im a total fan. In HOTS The Campaign is awesome, it has a lot of cinematics, they have a lot of quality in graphics and plot, the AI in BRUTAL is not very strong but if you make a big mistake you will lost and i believe that the AI is not very strong because Blizzard want that new players and the lazy ones get fun and finish the game (Brood war was harder). The plot is 2/3 you get fun on the campaign. The only bad thing about the campaign is that is short, you finish it in at least 10 hours. The next part of the game is the MULTIPLAYER, it has new units, and with 7 new units is a different game now, you can win games that for sure you will have lost in WOL. Playing as Terran you can use widow mines to finish draws, same goes to oracle with protoss and Swarm host for zerg. the ladder is not fully balanced but as always more patches will come all over again to improve the game. This time the multiplayer is HARD because people that play HOTS already bought WOL they have skill and experience and you can choose the server you want (You can be Master in NA and Platinum in Korea). At last, the game has A LOT of extra minigames in custom, unranked games, coop vs AI. My recommendation is the next: If you only want to play the campaign and not multiplayer wait for the price to drop. If you want Campaign but most important the MULTIPLAYER (The real game) buy it because you really feel the difference between WOL and HOTS and HOTS is harder. Expand
  4. Mar 12, 2013
    I'm just a few missions into campaign, and I can already say I'm excited for the story. I've been playing Starcraft since it's original release years and years ago, and this is just completely epic. I cannot wait to finish the story, and hop online. A good price for what will seem to be a completely new game. Also, it seems there were some slight graphics improvements. Everything seems a lot nicer. Also, some models seemed to have changed. Expand
  5. Mar 12, 2013
    If you're buying the game for it's story then you're in for a royal disappointment, but if you get it for the gameplay then you're going to have one hell of a time with it.
  6. Mar 12, 2013
    Though I haven't played through the entire campaign yet, the game sports new units, a fascinating storyline and campaign, epic cinematic sequences that match, if not surpass, the quality of Final Fantasy, and new and interesting ways to evolve your forces. If you enjoyed StarCraft 2 a lot, you won't want to pass it up. Those who, for some strange reason did not like the Wings of Liberty campaign (presumably because you are a boring person), will probably not find Heart of the Swarm all that interesting as, aside from several innovations, is still essentially the same game with different units, cinematic sequences, story, and a handful of other changes. But for the rest of us the swarm hungers. Expand
  7. Mar 12, 2013
    Do not let these low reviews fool you, this game is amazing! It lives up to the expectation and from what I have played the campaign is fresh and new. This is a must buy!
  8. Mar 12, 2013
    Let me be brief..
    Story: excellent dialogues ans cinematics, you get into the character on every mission of the campaing
    Gameplay: exceeds the expectations of the game. Wont get you bored in any moment of the game, the missions are wonderfully designed.
    Multiplayer: i am not very fan of mp gaming, but as far as i played, the new units makes it funnier and makes available more strategic

    Overall espectacular game. Recommended for any type of gamer. It wont dissapoint you
  9. Mar 12, 2013
    Loved this game. Just played through the story, and it was totally unexpected. They sure do a great job hiding the story in the trailers. Gameplay was fantastic as usual, and the replay value im sure will be never ending with arcade modes and regular ladder play. Good job blizzard on this one.
  10. Mar 12, 2013
    As usual, don't mind the trolls. The story is cheesy, but the campaign is great, with many diferent kinds of missions. Visuals and sound are excelent for a RTS game, and this time Blizzard enbraced the casual gamer with great tutorials before you jump into multiplayer, wich is the very essence of Starcraft since Broodwar.
    And the game definitely delivers in this aspect, improving Wings of
    Liberty in all possible way. A must by for fans and a great game overall for the newcomers. Expand
  11. Mar 12, 2013
    A beautiful game with a beautiful story. The cinematics are of the highest quality, the plot is developed perfectly. There may not be huge leaps and bounds of improvements over WoL... But then again, it's hard to improve on something that's already of the highest quality.
  12. Mar 12, 2013
    A solid expansion. Improved gameplay both in the singleplayer and multiplayer department. Better UI and thats it. Nothing too radical. Which also means anything you didn't like about the first one game (WoL) will be present in HoTS. I however liked the first one and I loved the general improvements in the expansion. 9/10
  13. Mar 12, 2013
    The best game ever made just got better the campaign is awsome luvin the new missions and overal look of the game then we have multiplayer this game is just simply the best franchise ever made cant reccommend it enough go out and get it right now.
  14. Mar 12, 2013
    First game I bother to write a review for, because it's just that good. Focusing more on the campaign as I've just finished it, the story is darker and better told than WOL or any other game, there are more cinematics at the same or even better quality than were used to from blizz and the gameplay in the missions is more varied and entertaining as ever. A true masterpiece and a must have for any starcraft, rts, or SciFi fan. Expand
  15. Mar 12, 2013
    Campaing is amazing, so is the soundtrack, the cinematics and so on.

    Multiplayer has come a long way and as a zerg I don't have to rely on infestors on every match up. I like it a lot, definetly GOTY candinant. At least on startegy games category.
  16. Mar 12, 2013
    If you liked Wings of Liberty you'll very much enjoy this. Excellent campaign and worthwhile improvements to multi-player space. Wonderful cinematics is just the cherry on top.
  17. Mar 12, 2013
    It's good, very good in fact. If you are on the fence about buying it take some time and look through YouTube, there are hundreds of videos over the past 6 months about HoTS. It is exactly what I expected that I would get, because I have been following it for some time. I have yet to play the single player, but if it is half as good as the Wings of Liberty campaign I wont be disappointed.
  18. Mar 12, 2013
    Best E sport game ever This game is so addictive, the art style is amazing and the campaign is a huge bonus of goodness. Not to mention the cinematics.
  19. Mar 12, 2013
    Chess is the ultimate strategy game, unlike Video games chess will remain untouched, its perfect in its conception.

    Blizzard have done to the RTS genre what Chess did to the board game genre, they have created the ultimate game, how can they better it? they cant so all cry's of stagnation and lack of innovation are futile. You cant innovate perfection, unlike chess RTS's can tell a rich
    and intriguing story and allow you to play scenarios out, this is what makes HotS worth any strategy fans money. The amazingly balanced, simplistic, complex, multiplay is a huge bonus.

    10 out of 10 for blizzard!
  20. Mar 12, 2013
    VERY very fun, so awesome. Great storyline, great campaign unique gameplay. I have played SC since the beggining and it just keeps getting better. Any popular game like this will get bad reviews, however this one is worth the money.
  21. Mar 12, 2013
    Currently at School I cannot wait to get home and play this GAME! I spent the majority of the night watching the launch event which I thought was epic. gg Grubby
  22. Mar 12, 2013
    Great campaign. Fun missions. I'm not much of a competitive SC2 player myself, so I can't comment too much to that aspect of this expansion. I can say that the one aspect I care about most (the single player campaign) is polished, fun, innovative, and addicting.

    I'll definitely be replaying it multiple times to get all the achievements.
  23. Mar 12, 2013
    A great continuation of the trilogy with pretty solid single player campaign with a nice variety of missions, some new ones like the space combat and others, well known and refined. The story is a bit cliché but with the space cowboy theme I guess thats what you have to expect!

    The big thrill is of course the multiplayer aspect, a tleast for me, which has been upgraded with some really
    nice replay sharing and also new and interesting units to play with.

    Very satisfied!
  24. Mar 12, 2013
    Quality of Heart of Swarm is on par with Wings of Liberty. But I like it more since it now shows alien race with all kind of weird stuff instead of mere humans. Blizzard did fantastic job with missions, cut scenes and story. The only thing I liked more in WoL is dialogues. The game is now more challenging on highest difficulty. Trust me, you'll reload alot. Cant wait to see the last part of this epic trilogy Expand
  25. Mar 12, 2013
    this game is absolutely fantastic and gorgeous. every negative user review you read on here is obviously written by someone with the brain capacity of a chick pea, especially considering they can barely spell or construct a sentence. A+ Blizzard.
  26. Mar 12, 2013
    Beautiful, polished campaign, a better story than the previous part of the trilogy, with more complex characters and action. Good improvements in terms of UI and graphics. The HotS multiplayer looks harder than WoL, because of the new units and strategies.
  27. Mar 12, 2013
    Estou a mais ou menos a 50% da campanha, e posso dizer que Heart of the Swarm um excelente jogo. Melhor que Wingos of Liberty na minha opinião. A trama está melhor elaborada. as fases estão bem divertidas de se jogar. A interface também melhorou bem. O único problema que tive foi que o deu erro no jogo duas vezes, mas graças aos autosaves, não houve frustração. Para quem curtiu Starcraft e Starcraft II: WL, então certamente vai gostar desse aqui também. Expand
  28. Mar 13, 2013
    Overall, the game is superb. It's meant to be experienced online as a balanced and competitive multiplayer RTS, and this is the one thing that SCII: HotS does better than any other game in the genre. Period. The UI is great, and with the new additions of unranked play and the new leveling system, the game is more friendly to newcomers than ever before. Plus, it comes in a nice, polished package that is easy on your hardware even if you are playing on an outdated rig. And perhaps best of all, you won't have to worry about any crippling connection issues with Blizzard's service (a la Diablo III and SimCity), and you can play to your heart's content as soon as you install the game. This is best RTS experience on the market and deserves a 10. However, if you're playing this game only for the single player component, knock the score down to a 8.5. The campaign is extremely entertaining, although it is a bit short, and is also the easiest campaign in a blizzard RTS to date. Some of the mutations available to Kerrigan's swarm as well as some of her own abilities are so powerful that you can basically sleepwalk through many of the missions even on the harder difficulty settings. Despite that, it's still a blast to play. There are several boss-type fights, which are extremely fun, and evolving your swarm in between missions is an enjoyable experience and allows you to customize the swarm to fit your play style. The story is a C+ effort at best typical of Blizzard's efforts as of late. Don't expect the same type of gripping narrative as Brood War, or you will be disappointed. Still, this is a more than worthy expansion to a great game, and deserves all the praise it gets. It's not perfect, and I'd give it a 9.5 if I could, but this is the game that sets the standard for the genre, and HotS definitely raises the bar. Expand
  29. Mar 13, 2013
    a great expansion. Let's first talk about servers and stuff. I played on Launch day, no queue at all, smooth as skill they really learned from their D3 fiasco. Second if you buy the game for its campaign you'll be in for a treat. The Campaign features a wide variety of diverse missions with very fun mission objectives, Kerrigan has her own set of unique upgrades and abilities that you can fully customize like summon a Leviathan or spawn 6 banelings at location (even more fun if you have the splatterling upgrade, world of pain) and it wrapped up the storyline of WoL quite nicely, in all it's one of the best titles i've played Q1 of 2013, definitely worth a buy for its price tag Expand
  30. Mar 13, 2013
    love it realy good campaign no other company can do this epicness. gj blizz. tell me what rts has better story? ofc mass effect 3 or dragon age got better maybe. but this is rts u wont get any better rts. great job bliz and fu to all haters..
  31. Mar 12, 2013
    CAMPAIGN IS AMAZING. Way better than Wings of Liberty. Ignore those negative bigots. The game is a blast. They added some more user friendly features, but the campaign, story, and game play is way more dynamic.
  32. Mar 13, 2013
    Heart of the swarm has a story that i loved and gameplay that i loved even more. I did not think i would like the game that much because zerg is my least favourite faction in the game, but the evolution missions, upgrades and abilities were a lot more fun than the upgrade system in wings of liberty. If you loved wings of liberty, you will love heart of the swarm even more!
  33. Mar 13, 2013
    Starcraft 2 is simply the greatest RTS ever created. It's so incredibly well balanced between the three unique playable races that matches are televised as a e-sport event in South Korea, with top players successfully playing as all three races. With Heart of the Swarm we get more of the same quality with a campaign that gives a human face to the zerg race, pulling you into playing as "the bad guy". I didn't think I'd enjoy a whole campaign based around zerg gameplay, since I had always found their playstyle a little confusing, but the pacing of the game is perfect, and I was able to easily master the race for the first time. Most of the negative reviews on metacritic seem to revolve around the story. I think most of the plot and presentation are incredible, and generally don't understand how a game could get docked 10 full points for a nitpick with a plot point. Even if the game had the worst story in history, the online play is unrivaled in its quality and balance. Expand
  34. Mar 12, 2013
    When checking over the user reviews, please take grammar into account. It's pretty obvious that most of the 0-5 reviews are from people who are unable to communicate a coherent thought.

    I've played about 5 hours of Heart of the Swarm, and so far it is at least as good as Wings of Liberty....likely better. Is it an amazing story? No...but I never found any Starcraft campaigns to have
    an amazing story
    Is it more of the same? Somewhat, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Is more of a great beer a bad thing?
    is it fun? YES! New Zerg units, a zerg storyline, backstory of Sarah K, good continuation of the WoL story arcs, new multiplayer options, new upgrades...what more do people want?!?

    Basically if you liked WoL, you'll probably like this.
  35. Mar 13, 2013
    First game I've reviewed on Metacritic. I created a Metacritic account to review this game. That's how serious I am. I'm a fairly critical person in general. I'll admit that I'm the first one to pounce on the negative aspects of a book or movie or game. But StarCraft II is taboo. You can't do that. You can't be negative about this game and still consider yourself a good person.

    Everything in this game is perfect.
    If you're trying to decide whether or not to buy this game because you're worried the story will be a let down, well, listen. If you've ever watched Firefly or Doctor Who, the same cheesy cliche-esque stuff is in the StarCraft II campaign. The story may be corny, but in that lies the charm.

    I bought this for the multiplayer, having won more than five thousand matches in Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm's predecessor. The campaign (~7 hours in) is fantastic. It's beautiful (graphically), it's got deep characters with questionable motivations and backgrounds, and it's got an interesting story with really fun gameplay. I expected a lot from the campaign, considering Wings of Liberty had a campaign touted as the best in the history of RTS gaming, and you know what? The campaign in Heart of the Swarm TOPPED that. Yeah, it EXCEEDED my expectations, and again: I'm not the most positive of people.

    So when I see 0's and anything less than an 8 on Metacritic, I know that the person who rated the game as such is either a troll, or has no taste in games.

    To sum it up,
    If you're looking for an RTS that's got a casual vibe to the single player with multiple difficulty settings and a fun and interesting, immersive experience, buy this game.
    If you're looking for something competitive to sink hours into fighting battles against others online, buy this game.
    If you're looking for a game to play with your friends online cooperatively in a very wide range of custom games (I'm talking about tower defense maps, tug-of-war maps, hero maps like DotA, etc), buy this game.

    If you want to rail on Blizzard for greedy DRM or whatever other adjectives and nouns you can crunch together haphazardly, go ahead. But nobody cares because as long as Blizzard keeps on shaping these gems, we real gamers will keep on buying them.
  36. Mar 13, 2013
    I wish the campaign was a little less focused on individual hero units and more focused on the overall RTs aspect.

    Aside from that, the game was fun and multiplayer and more interesting.
  37. Mar 14, 2013
    Great new campaign, more of the same fantastic multiplayer with a few UI tweaks and several additional units. Weakest part is probably the new unit additions, as they don't seem to "mix up" the formula as much as they could. However I understand why they went this way, rather than breaking the delicate balance of the game.
  38. Mar 13, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The game as a whole was very good, intuitive changes made to the unit composition in MP, and a wealth of varied missions in the campaign. However the Campaign was uninspired when compared to WoL. It was great, but it pales in comparison to that masterpiece. Kerrigan is back and quickly reverts to her old ways even after all that Jim has done for her. It's interesting to see her as a more human, more sympathetic and caring version of the queen of blades. Another problem, one you can't really blame the developers for is the difficulty getting attached to the supporting characters. They try their best, but trying to develop a relationship with a beast like the zerg and actually care is difficult, my most exciting and emotional times were seeing the crew of the Hyperion, and helping them through their adventures. I cared little of the zerg companions I had gathered.

    And as a final note, I was saddened to see the disconnect between the excellent book;flashpoint, and the game. Not only did they mention nothing of it, the character changes that developed throughout the book especially with Valarian seemed to matter little in the game which was severely disappointing. All in all the game was great and most definitely worth 40$ pick it up, it's one of the few big name franchises that hasn't turned into a giant money grab.
  39. Mar 13, 2013
    2013 Game of the Year! Excellent story-lines and ways of approaching an RTS from a new perspective. I love the Starcraft 2 storyline more than WoW. They tie in everything in a smooth, easy to understand way. A+++
  40. Apr 1, 2013
    Everyone is a hater on Blizzard now. I thought WoL was cheesy, I thought Diablo 3 was commercialized, I think Heart of the Swarm is a great game.

    I'm a long time SC player and it is ridiculous that this game gets anything less than a 7. Production values are through the roof, cut-scenes are amazing, game play is fun and addictive like always. SC is one of my game staples along with the
    MGS series and even though I was slightly disappointed by WoL, this game pumped me up for the third one. The story could be considered a little over-used and trite but overall awesome time. Great job Blizzard! Expand
  41. Mar 12, 2013
    Starcraft2 自由の翼に続いて今度のHeart of the swarmも本当に名作だった。Storyもよかった。特に主人公の立場や考えをPlayerがもっと体感できるようにゲームが作られていていることがよかった。あのせいかStoryにも夢中できた。Just remember awesome fantastic impressive
  42. Mar 14, 2013
    A great expansion set that makes the original Starcraft 2 much polished. The campaign is fun and detailed. The cutscenes are movie like, exceeding WOL and most games in this regard. Playing the HOTS multiplayer for the first time surprised me a lot: the whole gameplay got much smoother, the graphics got sharper. The tweaks and new units shows that Blizzard listened to the community (of course some minor balance changes will still be required). The new physics engine makes battles more spectacular both in multi- and in singleplayer mode. All in all, this game is the Blizzard quality I hoped I could once again experience (Diablo 3 was a disappointment for me). Expand
  43. Mar 17, 2013
    Excellent strategy. Timely return of best RTS of 2010. Heart of the Swarm makes you forget about other games. And no more words. Everybody must play!!!
  44. Mar 13, 2013
    The expansion to Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty delivers enough high quality content to be thought of as a completely separate and deserving game. Story-wise, the campaign is only an extension of WoL, but it's a great one, with surprisingly good writing. On game play, it is no surprise that every level brings fresh and polished approaches to the real-time strategy genre; this is definitely not a repackaging of WoL. With 20 new levels and a plethora of bonus objectives and challenges, the game justifies itself even before you experience its wonderful replay-ability. Expand
  45. Mar 13, 2013
    Its bloody awesome, builds on WoL and makes the whole shebang better.. well done Bliz! If you like RTS your gonna love this ride. Bliz rarely disappoints and this is no exception.
  46. Mar 29, 2013
    Great Game! Cant wait to see the third part of the trilogy! Its not better than Wings of Liberty, its just a different compaign. I think Blizzard should still work on some PvP components as there are a few balance issues appear (easpecially when you play toss vs terrans) As fot the story its amazing. I hope they will release it next year
  47. Mar 28, 2013
    In addition to its wonderfully thought out multi-player balance, Heart of the Swarm offers new heights in campaign mode. The player will be tasked to adapt and improve on new strategies that will introduce the player in to the exotic and varied game play the campaign offers. This truly amazing fresh game shines not only in the traditional strategical online player vs player matches, but as well as the lengthy work blizzard put in the campaign. Expand
  48. Mar 16, 2013
    I am on mission 20 of 27, and am having a blast. The complaints about the story here are inconceivable. I am finding it intriguing and well done, especially for an RTS at heart. The progression of the campaign feels very fluid as it adds choices and new species to play with. Choices that can be changed at any time. Seems there are quite a few bad reviews complaining about things they wish it was, instead of actually reviewing the game as it is. A shame. This is a very, very well done expansion. If you are a gamer reading these reviews for a push, you have already passed the threshold of needing to buy it. You will not be disappointed. Expand
  49. Mar 15, 2013
    I quite thoroughly enjoyed Heart of the Swarm. I find that the campaign is fairly well written and stands its own even compared to some of the RPG typed games that I've played. Like Wings of Liberty, the narrative brings a certain depth to some of the characters we know, such as Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan. The campaign is about 27 missions long, which is fairly lengthy considering the original Starcraft had about 30. The cutscenes are of course beautifully done, and the way the missions are panned out really gives the game an extra flavor, since it's not always about building and conquering. The new additions to multiplayer also seems to be a welcoming sight, with a few unique units that offers up to strategies to your game. If you are a Starcraft fan, don't pass this game up. Expand
  50. Mar 13, 2013
    Excellent story and loved new Sarah.It remainds me Arthas from WoW because I think Blizzard loves to create a good man turning to a bad one and that's why their games have very good quality.They know how to create a good story and continue that.Nice job Blizzard you made it again..
  51. Mar 15, 2013
    After finishing this masterpiece I have to say it offers you much better campaign than SCII: WoL and the new units for multiplayer are nice as well. Balancing is a subject to change anyway so I won't even bother to say that race x is too strong for race y. If you only get this game for singleplayer it will still be worth your coins because the it offers more variety than multi and the new characters are fantastic. Strongly recommend getting this game. Expand
  52. Mar 14, 2013
    Great game. Everything is simply perfect. Campaign, multiplayer, sound. 10/10 Brilliant game!
    A little bit better than Wings of Liberty. I hope Legacy of the Void will be soon.
  53. Mar 15, 2013
    Don't believe the hater crowd, guys. This game is a gem and it is worth every penny.

    I a big fan of the Starcraft universe and I've played Starcraft and Brood War. When Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty was launched, I had very high hopes about the game. It proved to be great. This time, Blizzard took a great game and made it even better. Heart of the Swarm is wonderfully crafted. A lot of
    attention has been given to the story, the cinematics, the multiplayer and even the graphics ("Extreme"). Sarah Kerrigan is more impressive than she has ever been and it truly shows that Blizzard tried to make her a more complex character. Those of you who've been disappointed a bit by the light tone of Wings of Liberty will be pleasantly surprised by the darker story of HOTS.

    Thank you, Blizzard, for a wonderful game! I can't wait for The Legacy of the Void. En taro Tassadar!
  54. Mar 18, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm cannot be compared to the impact Brood War had on StarCraft I. Times have changes, games have changed and the gamers have changed. However, it is a fully-fledged expansion set that improves all the aspects of the original StarCraft II. The single-player storyline may be a little dull (still being very well crafted), but it's in the and multiplayer aspects that HotS shines. It guarantees a very smooth transition from WoL, opens up lots of possibilities for newcomers and gives many incentives to play the multiplayer battles for hundreds of hours. In the times of hidden DLCs that are embedded in the original game, Blizzard proves once again that it's one of the best developers in the world that treats the gamers with the respect they deserve. Expand
  55. Mar 16, 2013
    A fascinating expansion: Heart of the Swarm takes everything that was good in WoL and makes it even better, while at the same time polishing the downsides of the original.

    First things first, after the cheesy single player campaign in WoL (and after a horrible Diablo 3 storyline), Blizzard redeems itself in this expansion. The HotS campaign might not feature Bioware-perfect dialogue and
    character development, but it gets the job done, it's engaging, emotional, much less cheesy than before and actually has characters with motivations and feelings. They are quite memorable (unlike the one-dimensional testosterone packed, bravado-infused Hyperion shipmates of the original) It's a very straightforward story, but it's well executed and the in-game and CGI cutscenes work well and don't seem as choppy as in WoLl. Moreover, most of the scenes are recorded so you don't need a powerful computer to see the cinematics in all their splendor.

    The UI of the game got a huge facelift. The multiplayer got a slight overhaul with addition of new units and abilities to each race, but it's mostly in the surrounding areas, where the changes really make the greatest impact. The leveling system, while imperfect, makes sure that losing a game is not time wasted, and the unlockable dances/portraits and unit skins are now only tied to this system, making the simple process of playing more rewarding. Overall, it's a perfect expansion. If you didn't like the original, then there's nothing for you in this installment, but that's the point. SC2 is an RTS where change in underlying mechanics is impossible (how would you change chess?) but the polish and error-correction that Blizzard undertook really makes the game feel more cohesive and enjoyable in all aspects.
  56. Mar 16, 2013
    I will admit i am a fan of cheesy dialogue. I grew up on 90's action movies so the campaign doesn't bother me, i enjoyed the story. I would give it a nine overall but i refuse to let people who give zero's get away with that. No game deserves a zero. Now for the review. The story is going in the same direction that wings of liberty was, so if you didn't mind the dialogue or story in Wings of liberty you will like the campaign. The interface for Kerrigan is cool and being able to choose powers for Kerrigan was fun. The cinematics were great and the online is amazing. I felt the missions were more varied and overall a success. For the online you can complain that not enough units were added in the expansion but i feel starcraft has always been about balance and i think blizzard pulled it off well. If you didn't like wings of liberty there really won't be anything here that will catch your eye or satisfy you. Is it game changing or pushes the boundaries no, but i feel its a good game nonetheless. If you like playing rts games or/and are a fan of starcraft i say buy it. The game is worth the $40 but if your on the fence i say wait a bit and then get it when the price drops. Overall a good game which may stumble a little but i give it a 9/10. Expand
  57. Mar 14, 2013
    I really loved the single player campaign. The story is just as good as ever and its really great to see Sarah and Jim working together in (a few missions) but just having them on screen together is amazing. I've been waiting to see this for a decade and it hasn't disappointed. My only complaint is more time with them together would have been good. Also, lots of the upgrade decisions are meaningless since the Zerg tend to just swarm over everything. The upgrades don't matter much or aren't noticeable. But I'm here for the story not upgrades and I loved it! Expand
  58. Mar 15, 2013
    Awesome expansion to an awesome game. The campaign story while still not great has definetly improved a lot from WoL. And the campaign is self was simply amazing! None of the missions were alike and they were all great. I especially like having Kerrigan as a kind of hero, which really added more depth to the already great gameplay. The changes to the multiplayer though not many have made a major impact on the gameplay. It's fun and interesting and with the new units hundreds of new tactics will appear and make sure that each game is different than the last one, which really keeps the game interesting. One of the best games in a while and i'm sure i will play even more SC 2 in the future, now that HotS has arrived. Expand
  59. Mar 18, 2013
    First off, I am not a Blizzard fanboy, I hate WoW, and SC2 is the first Blizzard title I had 'gotten into'.

    I didn't think it was possible for Blizzard to polish their starcraft sequel any more. With their refinements to the interface and overall experience, Heart of the Swarm is a breath of fresh air in a staling eSports-orientated title. I had my doubts of the new units, but am
    warming up to them, and even becoming thankful of their addition.

    The Single Player experience is cinematic, and enjoyable, and revolves heavily around Kerrigan, the central protagonist. This is not a bad thing, thanks to an excellent cast of supporting characters, gameplay elements, interesting missions and appearances from other series characters. Overall it made an impact to see Kerrigan's journey and development following the events of WoL. Blizzard have done an outstanding job of injecting a Zergy storyline with feel and a Human touch, and have given fans of the Swarm another way to identify with the race. My only complaint is that the campaign portion was short and sweet, and relatively too easy on Brutal when compared with WoL. Not that I liked playing Terran much. HotS has left me in anticipation of Legacy of the Void.

    The addition of unranked matchmaking is the best thing for me. This encourages practice and refinement, and most importantly, experimentation without any of the stress associated with competitive laddering.
  60. Mar 15, 2013
    Surprised over the story! Only tried the singleplayer yet, and it's quite good! Well written and it makes me get excited for Legacy of the Void. Loved the Zerg campaign. Good job Blizzard!
  61. Mar 26, 2013
    I like to look for 5 things in games that make or break it. Visuals, Story & Characters, Gameplay and the Challenge is presents, Length and replay value, Multiplayer. Let's get started. Visuals are dependent on your computer. With my super monster 9000 of a computer the visual and CGI are TOP NOTCH but because of the overwhelming numbers the Zerg presents I even found MY computer to be lagging which has never occurred in a game in ever! The details are truly amazing in this. Story is great but useless if you haven't been keeping up with the Starcraft story so it's knida needed to know what's going on to follow along. As for the characters everyone fits the bills I enjoyed everything and I saw a side to the Zerg I'd never thought to fathom or see. Gameplay in this is extremely well done! Never have I been so immured into a Starcraft game in... ever. The story flows so well and how they integrate it along with the missions makes you truly feel like you are part of the Swarm. Challenge though is up to you. I must say this first and foremost with replay value... if you want to beat the game do it in one run because I couldn't find the will to go through on Brutal... I was just so bored. So it really lacked in the replay department but if you choose Brutal your first run you'll defiantly be playing this game for hours angry as hell at the crazy things you face. I never once played Multiplayer in Starcraft. Not the normal kind oh no but thanks to Blizzard adding tutorials now and even an unranked mode I been enjoying it to no end! It's really fun! So overall I have to give this game a 9 out of 10 as the replay isn't all there but everything else hits home. This is a definite must buy and must own for those who have SC Wings of Liberty. Expand
  62. Mar 14, 2013
    Wonderful CGI, great story, and excellent gameplay are overflowing in Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm. The story is absolutely engrossing and the game play is the Starcraft we all have come to know, expect and love. Blizzard hits the nail on the head with this great expansion. New Multiplayer units have changed multiplayer strategy for the better, and have added some rejuvenation and diversity to multiplayer. All in all, great game, hours of fun. Collapse
  63. Mar 17, 2013
    I enjoyed the campaign, I thought it was very original if not somewhat predictable. The difficulty of normal is far too easy for experienced SC2 players (particularly zerg players). However multiplayer is obviously where the game makes a lot of sense to buy. Personally spent over 100 hours playing multiplayer already and I havent even scratched the surface. A great game.
  64. Mar 13, 2013
    The game was very good I felt in the end. I haven't delved to far into with the MP aspect as the game had just come out and the already strong MP experience just had some unit additions. The store was pretty rich and engaging I look at it like Darth Vader going back to the light side in ROTJ and then having to remain Darth Vader to save the universe this of course being compared to Kerrigan. The level design was great and there were some pretty awesome missions. There were a few missions that had a very cool platform feel to that with was neat. With games like D3 being a let down you won't be disappointed with this installment some may hate the game but RTS's have never been something everyone has enjoyed and Starcraft 2 is the cream of the crop right now. Expand
  65. Mar 14, 2013
    If you're a fan of playing fun, quality games then don't let the masses of complainers get to you and buy starcraft 2. This is coming from someone who frequents the official forums and cries imbalance quite often. However, I can not deny that this game is fun, despite the multiplayer being frustrating. The campaign story is occasionally a little cheesy but the cast is interesting and fresh enough to make you click the next mission button just to hear what they have to say next. I am giving this game a score of 10/10 as a measure for how much of my purchase price I am receiving in return. Expand
  66. Mar 14, 2013
    This game is $40. It features a lengthy and fresh campaign (with multiple options, branches and subsequent replay value for achievement farmers like myself) PLUS the expansion to the true heart of SC2, the multiplayer. I've been playing SC2: Wings of Liberty since it launched in 2010. That game was $60. There is NO BETTER band for your buck when it comes to games, than purchasing a Starcraft game. I expect to play HoTS everday for the next three years, and for a one-time cost of $40, that is absurd. I need no other games. No other console. This is the definition of value. Expand
  67. Mar 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Almost three long years have passed since the groundbreaking debut of the second installment(well, I guess you could call it the third one) of the great Starcraft saga. Although, for those, who actually played Wings of Liberty(later WoL) this wait might not have been so long after all(considering the amount of gaming everyone was doing). I am of course talking about the wait for the Heart of The Swarm(later HoTS) sequel a game which brings us one step closer to the epic conclusion which will be Legacy of The Void. A game we all anticipated and deserved. Or is it? To answer this question I feel I must divide this review into two parts. And I am reluctant to say that the single player part of the game was quite disappointing.

    For those of you, who aren't familiar with the setting, the game is about a human soldier Sarah Kerrigan, who was left behind on a Zerg(an alien race) infested planet by her commander and afterwards artificially evolved into a monster. She would later become the sole leader of the Zerg and get saved by her friend Jim Raynor. Jim is deeply in love with her so he doesn't let his fellow humans kill her. The events in HoTS are what follows afterwards(WARNING: A LOT OF SPOILERS!). Firstly, the plot was not worthy of WoL, which means it couldn't even hold a candle to the first Starcraft or the Brood War expansion. It was cheesy at times, the ending was completely predictable and it wasn't at all thrilling. For example, for those, who remember the first Starcraft game, Tassadar had to make difficult choices like whether to trust Zerathul, who was an outcast of his people at that time, or to ignore him and risk a Zerg invasion of the entire galaxy. Or how Sarah Kerrigan was betrayed by Arcturus Mengsk and turned into a zerg monster afterwards, how Jim Raynor was so passionate about her and how it broke his heart and changed his life. HoTS was very lacking of such thrilling twists that actually keep you interested in what's going to happen later on.

    Furthermore, the missions weren't challenging at all. The difficulty level 'Hard' should probably be renamed to 'Very Easy' in an upcoming patch just to make it more accurate. Even the Brutal difficulty didn't prove to be much of a challenge. And the hunt for the achievements is also much easier than in WoL and probably takes twice less the time. Which is very bad, to be quite frank. Simply because a lot of players buy the game just for single player campaign alone and they want to prolong their gaming experience as much as possible.

    But then, I actually couldn't say that the campaign was a complete waste of time. It had some good moments as well. Even though the story wasn't very good, the missions were quite fun and very versatile. Also, the cinematics were very cool and they probably were the thing I was looking forward to the most after every mission. And Kerrigan was really bad-ass. She had a lot of personality, she was witty, passionate, relentless and determined to have her way. The voice over was perfect and I'm actually really sad that she won't be playing such a huge role in the upcoming expansion. But I really think that she and Jim deserved a better ending considering that throughout the whole game she was driven by the feelings she had towards him. And of course we also have the multiplayer part of the game, which delivers a very unique and practically endless gaming experience. Even though to some it may seem that the online play in HoTS isn't really that different from WoL considering that there are only a few new units. But don't be alarmed they are dead wrong. It's these few seemingly small changes are they key aspect that actually changes almost everything the builds, the compositions, the styles and strengths of every race and basically the whole mechanic of the game. Of course your knowledge of WoL mechanics is still valuable and gives you the edge over less experienced players, but to be an accomplished player you'll have to learn new builds, that require a lot more multitasking than the ones in WoL which makes the game even more challenging and further prolongs the gaming experience.

    In conclusion, Heart of The Swarm didn't disappoint. Even the single player oriented gamers should try this game(I guess you could get a lot of time out of the arcade mode plus the versus A.I. feature has been completely revamped and is a lot more challenging than it used to be), especially if you liked Wings of Liberty. Normally I would give the campaign part of of the game a 6/10 and a solid 10/10 for the multiplayer and write an average of 8/10, but considering that the game is largely based on the multiplayer feature I just can't let my self give it less than a 9/10. It is an excellent game good work Blizzard!
  68. Mar 28, 2013
    I love Starcraft II and I love playing as the zerg. So I guess I love HOTS. Overall, I've been playing this off and on for 2 years and I can say for sure that there is virtually no limit to the amount there is to learn about it. It's huge, it's a lifetime game, getting to know it feels like I'm getting a small Degree for a university course. I would say getting to know the technical (controls/interface) is bigger than some entire games, and then getting to know the technicality of each race (builder order/units/uniqueness) is like 3 full other games (3 races), and then actually getting good at the game is like 10 full other games. So you're basically getting 14 games worth in this one game. That's actually not even an overstatement because I'll be playing this for 5 years and I'll probably get 14 times the number of hours I get out of most games. Wow, I just realized that I'm not in hyperbole. Expand
  69. Mar 19, 2013
    I've played around 100 games online so far and I like the changes made both in-game and out. The campaign is extremely slow to get going and I wish it would go back to the way Brood War played out (use the online tech tree and limit only some units). As a result, much of my time as been online. BNET interface is better, like the level system, league portrait colors before the matches, new physics etc... Any issues with balance will obviously be tweaked along the way. GG! Expand
  70. Mar 16, 2013
    A short but well crafted expansion, the story missions are varied with an obvious focus on fun story driven gameplay vs artificial feeling challenge which I definitely appreciated. other then that the new units aren't so much new as re-skinned support units from the first which again is appreciated but wont wow anyone. A worthwhile expansion to a very solid rts. All the 0's here remind me that metacritic needs to be read with some pretty thick filters, especially with company's with as storied a history as blizzard, remember always nostalgia is poison to the gaming world no more is this more apparent then on metacritic. Expand
  71. Mar 21, 2013
    The game is very good in terms of both singleplayer and multiplayer. The multiplayer is still incredibly demanding and I feel exhausted after only laddering for a short while, but that is how all good rts games are. The campaign is well made, has good replayability, and is definitely by itself worth the price of 40$
  72. Mar 13, 2013
    Starcraft is supposed to be an E-sport. Your installer/connection issues don't have anything to do with the game. Campaign flashier than WoL, more individual unit focused, almost DOTA-like sometimes. Probably done on purpose. No objections here. Multiplayer units interesting, though I feel they could've added a few more elements to it. New interface welcome, but still kind of slow in response.
  73. Mar 19, 2013
    Blizzard is in the order of operation of recent years, never disappoint us, thank you, again and again, do not change, we continue to have fun like that, thank you
  74. Mar 19, 2013
    it is a perfecto game, a perfect expansion, the online es great, is my best money inverted in my life, i recommended to all buy this fantastic game. Greetings from Spain
  75. Mar 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. From what i've seen through walkthroughs, the game is good, good enough to be considered a very good sequel to WoL. The new units are pretty decent too, with the Viper being my favourite add-on(can pull entrenched siege tanks and swiftly turn the tide of the battle in favour of the zerg player) Countless new strategies in multiplayer are avaliable, and if you are smart enough, you can destroy a entrenched position easily using the new units. Overall, the modifications made to the multiplayer are very good, and mass siege tanks or void rays can not be enough now, to win a multiplayer game.
    The campaign is equally good. What I liked most is the hero system of Heart of Swarm: You control Kerrigan in virtually every mission. She is revived at free cost at the Hatcheries and is almost as powerful as the old QoB unit of WoL(though i feel that the new system of evoluting Kerrigan is overpowered, and despite being similar to the WC3 system, its almost twice as powerful than the latter system.) When Kerrigan reaches level 80, you will simply bring destruction in the campaign maps with almost no cost. Through i like swift destruction, however. Also I strongly like the concept of invading planets with strains very useful to fuel the evolution of the Swarm.
    The story is good, focused on Kerrigan revenge against Mengsk, and telling us more of the hybrid enigma. I don't really care about voice making or something like that, but I think that the actors have done a great job(both representing the talks and the voices). Through the game is relatively very good, the cinematics simply excel. Film-like quality, and excellent representation. The cinematics also reveal the new personality of Kerrigan and that's what I like most.
    I haven't bought the game yet, but believe me, if you like Starcraft 2 enough to consider it as one of the best RTS strategy games of all time, this expansion is a must-buy for you. You'll not regret it. Overall I rate this game a strong 8.8/10.
  76. Mar 14, 2013
    Wings of Liberty was an awesome game, and this campaign was even more fun and engaging! My only sadness is that I need to wait another couple of years for the 3rd and final chapter. That's ok, multiplayer and the community maps will keep me busy until then! Thanks Blizzard, you didn't disappoint.
  77. Mar 14, 2013
    Nice balance even in campaign, who cry about an easy game should pick brutal there comes t2/t3 units that active use their spells. Well done-cinematrcs looks fantastic the story but is a bit dull
  78. Mar 15, 2013
    A really good expansion! The campaign is awesome with nearly every mission being different from previous. The side characters you meet are all likeable and in some cases absolutely bad ass.
    The story is what it is, hardly a masterpiece, but it's entertaining, and it brings you to a lot of very interesting and neat looking places.

    The multiplayer aspect of it is enhanced with the new
    addition of XP and gaining levels as you play, which is something I myself appreciate as it gives me another reason to go back and grind some ladder.

    In short, awesome expansion. If you like RTS games then this is a must buy.
  79. Mar 15, 2013
    The story is great and the characters are integrated well into it, and although I am not a lore junkie I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the Zerg history. Graphically there are only minor tweaks and even though the graphics are not cutting edge, It is the atmosphere that is achieved with them that make this game look so good and gives it a lasting visual appeal. There are some great, intuitive additions to the UI which adds to the amazing game play in both single and multiplayer. Overall, 'Heart of the Swarm' is the near perfect compliment to "Wings of Liberty'. Expand
  80. Mar 16, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Blizzard has done a great job with Kerrigan here, it was a pleasure to get to know this new iteration of the queen of blades with a good story to wrap it up. A tone of delicate details in missions and cut-scenes, interesting conversation inside the Leviathan and abather. Bitter-sweet ending capped it though it was a little depressing.

    like the multi-player (so far, dont nerf terran into the ground like you did in wings please!) and the UI changes as well. Good things lie ahead for the SC2 franchise if they keep the quality up like this for Lov.
  81. Mar 16, 2013
    I was skeptical to say the least, £25 for an expansion that requires the previous game a separate multiplayer experience... I felt like Blizzard was segregating the community and that the community would form a coup against them. However great cinematics, familiar gameplay, and a coherent Blizzard storyline: I was going to give the single player a shot and enjoy the multiplayer regardless, despite feeling like £25 was too expensive.

    The point of this expansion, like many others is to fix the shortcomings of the previous title, and continue the storyline while possibly expanding on the gameplay. Blizzard succeeded. Take the critics reviews with a pinch of salt the singleplayer game experience draws a lot on the successes of other genres. There are many mechanics within the story that you don't often see in a RTS that alter the pace of the game and turn what is ordinarily a trivial singleplayer vs bots into an engaging and dynamic-flowing-epic tale of a fallen, and yet rising hero. Continuing where WoL left off you are in control of Kerrigan, or as you may know her "Queen of Blades". Your control of her is one of the important advancements in the core gameplay. Kerrigan has abilities and levels up (persistently through the game) by completing objectives within missions. These abilities can be changed before beginning allowing you to change your tactics entirely. It also fits symbiotically with the story of the zerg, their constant need and desire for evolution. On the subject of Zerg you also control their evolutionary path through side missions, while communicating with "Abathur". the hive minds evolution expert who searches for new essences to incorporate into the swarm.

    There are missions that involve traditional RTS elements, with base building, expansion and race-against-the-clock battles with an overpowering enemy; and there are missions that involve controlling only a few units with specific abilities, and fighting against tough and epic bosses and armies with devastating effect. These are tuned well they are not too easy but are satisfyingly challenging, the game alters it's pace constantly and frankly it is the best single player experience I have encountered in a long time I rarely give single player a second thought on any game but I found this surprisingly to be a gem. Well worth the money and better than the previous single player tenfold. Alongside this the multiplayer is expanded greatly also new portraits, new achievements, new leveling up system new mechanics, league changes, interface changes lots of new multiplayer maps and a long awaited non-ranked matchmaking system. Obviously the multiplayer changes are something that is impossible to review without many hours being spent to consider the balancing and relative powers of the individual races. I believe Blizzard achieved what they advertised, and the expansion is 100% worth getting if you have the previous title.
  82. Mar 16, 2013
    it'is MOST BEST EXPANSION! I LIKE IT! I LOVE ALL Blizzard Games. We must play this games. campaign, MultIplay, Arcade..and more...cinematic is likely movies. for now..we wait to Final Part, The second expansion Legacy of Void..
  83. Mar 17, 2013
    LOL I can't believe the low scores on here. I expected to see 98% average, that's how good this game was for me playing the Singleplayer first, then I've spent a few hours on Multiplayer. It took me a whole weekend to finish the Singleplayer on hard. I started it on brutal, but about 10 missions in it gets almost impossible. There's so many achievements still to do as well (I'm only about 35%). Very challenging singleplayer game. Very fun. Great story. Has a lot of cool moments and great sense of accomplishment and a feeling of "kicking ass". I will admit that some of the intro's are annoying and I skip those. The missions where u get your unit upgrades could have been better. I liked being able to see the ability and how it works, but they should have made a few more of those levels with a micro challenge like on bnet to make it more fun.

    Also, you only get to play Zerg except for a brief Terran usage. They should have made it like SC1 and Broodwar expansions using 3 races. They could have done it by reducing the cutscenes and character discussions which are useless except in game. It reminded me of Diablo, upgrading Kerrigan with different skills and XP. It was pretty cool, but I think again, they should have just cut all that extra useless stuff out and focused on just giving you core Kerrigan abilities.

    Great to see some new ideas in this game and it definitely was fun playing the singleplayer.
  84. Mar 17, 2013
    Three more minutes then we can give you the game you been waiting for this is what i hear at about eleven fifty seven at night on the eleventh. I bought the collectors edition came with some pretty awsome stuff once i started to play Heart of the sworm i did not want to stop until it was beat and even after beating the game i found my self stating over to get the achievements i had missed any person who has fallowed the star craft series will love hearing more of the story told and if your any thing like me cant wait for the next installment of Star Craft2. Expand
  85. Mar 21, 2013
    The multiplayer is outstanding. They finally moved the game into a more fast paced, more enjoyable direction. It reminds me of Brood War and that brings a tear to my eye.

    Also, the multiplayer is much more casual friendly with the points system, interface, and arcade.

    A must buy for any RTS lover! A must by for people who enjoy social gaming!
  86. Mar 26, 2013
    I liked it alot, i got sick of the stupid ass love story garbage in the campaign, and my race, zerg, got with the new units, but thats what starcraft is about, adapting, now im a protoss player till they fix the zerg and give us SOMETHING viable, other than hydras.
    -1 "love conquers all" garbage.
  87. Mar 31, 2013
    I don't like giving out 10's, especially to Blizzard, but this one earned it. I sat here for a good 5 mins trying to think of something I did not like about the game. But honestly, as far as RTS's go this is a great one.

    Story gets a 11/10 The story is not original, but its hard to be truly original these days with the shear amount of product out there. The plot is a great continuation
    on the first 4 games, it has sacrifice, pain, hope, and tragedy. What starts out as a great re-unification of our favorite lovers, separated by a war, quickly turns into tragedy, eventually (without spoiling any story) the prospect of great hope comes at the end, though permanent, irreversible sacrifices may have been made. Truly made me feel for the characters in this world and their struggle. I am looking forward to the final act!

    Play Control and Interface, 10/10 Its hard to screw the pooch on this one, never the less some developers can fail with immeasurable grace and precision. Blizzard has enough experience with this that if they ever got a 9 or an 8, it would be a complete fail. Keyboard controls and character controls are centered around the left side of the keyboard, and Kerrigan's controls are always q,w,e, no matter what skills are mapped to the character. Mechanics and Replay-ability 10/10 Like in the previous campaign game you get upgrades to your units and buildings, this is done a little differently in HotS however. Short concise missions are used to demonstrate new abilities. Additionally, and unlike the in the original Star Craft II campaign, you earn ALL upgrades, which can not all be used at once but can be swapped and changed during the interm between missions. Achievements are plentiful, and again, the hard and brutal difficulty setting have their own.

    If I had one complaint about this game it would be that most missions are timed in some way, either to finish or to collect optional goals, so most of the game is go go go. While there are a few missions that will let you just build and play the game at your own pace, they are indeed in the minority.

  88. Mar 14, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a magnificent game. I think when reviewing this game it makes sense to break it into two parts: THE CAMPAIGN

    I thought this was well executed and a blast to play. The overarching plot is a bit thin and your ability to interact with NPCs, as compared with a game like ME2 or ME3, is sharply limited, which limits the depth of the ancillary characters. Nevertheless I thought Abathur was hilarious and extremely well-animated. The campaign only units and upgrades were well conceived and fun to use. I found the missions to a tad easier to complete than they were in WOL but also more entertaining than the ones in WOL. I've heard some complaints about the voice acting but I actually thought that at least the actress who played Kerrigan did a really good job and the writers did a good job giving her character some depth and an edge without making her tedious or annoying. The animators also did an amazing job with her facial expressions (and making her extremely attractive). The cinematics are universally acknowledged (even by those who otherwise hate the game) best in class. MULTIPLAYER

    They've managed to improve on the best RTS (and in my opinion) best game in history. Changing the multiplayer is tremendously difficult in light of the delicate balance necessary to make the game viable at a professional level and the need to make the game fun for casual players. The hardcore SCII gaming community is extraordinarily hard to please, yet after 15 or so balance adjustments in beta they were able to create a game that, at a professional level, in the view of that community, was superior in most ways to WOL there is more action and gameplay is generally more dynamic, more varied and all around better than it was in WOL. The game is not perfectly balanced (terran is now the strongest race whereas in WOL it was clearly zerg) at a professional level, and the balance among the races will continue to shift as players develop new strategies and Blizzard reacts to prevent any one race from gaining to much of an upper hand on the other two and to keep the game from falling into undesirable playing patterns (where, e.g., one race always loses in the end game). This is inevitable and everyone will just have to be patient. The new units have added significant depth to multiplayer play and each race has gotten significant new additions to its army. I think the most interesting unit is the Swarm Host. Although it's somewhat in the doghouse among the SCII community at present, it has the greatest potential, in my view, to increase the skill cap and to impact all the zerg versus protoss and zerg versus terran matchups in interesting ways. Time and many, many pro games of course will ultimately determine the fate of the Swarm Host, but I really love the way the unit is drawn, its mechanics and its potential to create chaos (in a good way) all over the map. Blizzard has taken many steps to make the multiplayer more accessible to newer players or players who suffer from "ladder anxiety". There is now unranked play and the AI is a bit more helpful of an opponent if you're trying to figure out what the multiplayer is all about. They've also improved the social aspects of the game and added a leveling system that will likely appear to players familiar with LoL and other similar games. I think that everyone should give the multiplayer a try; it is the deepest, most strategic and wonderful video game I've ever played and preposterously addictive. It can be played in a frenetic manner, but you don't have to play that way if you're smart about your strategy and precise with your actions, and you can still be very successful. Also although this is generally perceived as a kid's game, I'm 30+ and have had a blast playing in my spare time. I didn't have any background in RTS games and I was able to achieve a "masters" rank in zerg and terran in WOL, so don't believe the "you can't be good at this type of game if you're not a kid" line of thought about this game. Do yourself a favor and buy this game.
  89. Mar 14, 2013
    STORY: If you're expecting a storyline to rival Wheel of Time or A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones), then you're going to be disappointed. Really I think they could have done better with the story, which is why I knocked off a point. They have the resources to do better and it is a step down from Broodwar in my opinion. But compared to any other RTS I've played, the story is excellent.

    CAMPAIGN GAMEPLAY: This campaign has more "mini game" mechanics than WoL. Personally I love it. When I want to play the strategy portion of the game, there's good AI and people to play against. So to me the campaign should have something different and I was not disappointed at all. Actually I would love for them to have a hero mode in multiplayer as well.

    MULTIPLAYER GAMEPLAY: Not much has changed since WoL. Yes there are new units and there will be new strategies. And yes it is an evolutionary step, but nothing revolutionary here. Which isn't bad. SC2 has earnings nearly double what any other game has. The Starcraft franchise has earnings that are triple the next game, LoL. If you don't like the multiplayer, that's you, not the game.

    SUMMARY: This is a Starcraft game, you should know what to expect by now. If you are new to the series, then you don't start here, you should be playing WoL first.
  90. Mar 14, 2013
    Best game I've ever played, seriously it was an absolute blast and my only complaint was I wish it was longer, anyone who doesn't like this game eats ice cream with a foot ball helmet on because they might hurt themselves.
  91. Mar 14, 2013
    Better story than WoL, not as good as it could be, but still an improvement. The gameplay in the campaign is pretty interesting, yet sometimes it just gets weird (random boss battles). Havnt tried PvP yet, but I assume its still good old starcraft, so not much I can say there. Overall ive had a really good experiance with the game, and not to mention im pretty happy they didnt try and sell it at 60$ Expand
  92. Mar 29, 2013
    While nowhere near as amazing as the first StarCraft, the missions and story are still some of the best PC gaming has to offer. MUCH better the the disappointment that the first campaign, Wings of Liberty had to offer.
  93. Apr 15, 2013
    I liked the organization of the campaign even better than Wings of Liberty although I thought the lack of diverging paths in the story was a negative. The storyline was predictable but with a few twists I didn't see coming.
    I thought the visuals and audio were excellent.
    I would like for the single-player campaign to have done a better job of preparing me for multiplayer. I don't see the
    point of learning to like units and upgrades that you will never use again. Expand
  94. Apr 1, 2013
    Hots has more action than WoL campain, the cinematics are insane! the game has changed a lot, since starcraft2 WOL,new interface, new customizations, new features new tutorials! Nice job by Blizzard...
  95. Apr 1, 2013
    The campaign features are unqiue, multiplayer has great changes (Especially to mechanics and replay watching) and the graphics are awesome.
    Hands down one of the best expansions I've ever played.
  96. Apr 1, 2013
    I must say that I personally believe that Blizzard could have easily sold Heart of the Swarm for more than the going price, which is $40. Although I have yet to complete the campaign, I'm enjoying the continuation of the story, as well as everything that goes on in between missions. They have added quite a bit of content aside from the campaign and multiplayer. At this point, my only complaint would have to be that they ended up leaving out some of the units/ abilities from the multiplayer that I originally thought would be in there.

    Other than that, I highly recommend this game to any fan of Starcraft: Wings of Liberty.
  97. Apr 9, 2013
    Great! Very well changed from the original, allowing hours upon hours of online gameplay, in which you can expand your skill and go against players with equal level.
  98. May 7, 2013
    This game is just excellent, a good decision from Blizzard to give each faction its own campaign instead of 3 smaller ones.
    The story feels a little more linear but it has more extras: the mutations and mutation missions for example, making choices on your units depending on how you use them.
    Zerg and protoss resources are replaced by Kerrigan levels and it feels less punishing for
    missing 1 or 2 objectives that give these levels. The levels give you upgrades for Kerrigan herself but also Passive upgrades to improve the Swarm itself.
    The feel of slowly working your way trough the mission, gaining and upgrading new units and improving yourself is very satisfying overall. Totally worth my 40 bucks
  99. May 7, 2013
    People still talk about Brood War? Forget about it. Starcraft is and has always been about competitive and tense multiplayer. It's definitely a game that I wouldn't buy for it's campaign (even tho I have heard praise about that too). Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty started improving the gameplay in many areas (no more sending every probe to the mineral line i.e.) and Heart of the Swarm continues from that. I play multiplayer almost every day and the new units in HotS really bring more variety to the mix. The changes to the multiplayer aren't too significant (couple of units for every race) but overall the game is getting constantly more dynamic. Expand
  100. Apr 2, 2013
    Just finished the game and all I can say is its kinda gives the feeling of inferiority to the Wings of Liberty story and feature wise. Kinda short campaign and in need of more powerful units for balance between races.
  101. Mar 14, 2013
    Wonderful CGI, great story, and excellent gameplay are overflowing in Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm. The story is absolutely engrossing and the game play is the Starcraft we all have come to know, expect and love. Blizzard hits the nail on the head with this great expansion. New Multiplayer units have changed multiplayer strategy for the better, and have added some rejuvenation and diversity to multiplayer. All in all, great game, hours of fun. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 68
  2. Negative: 1 out of 68
  1. Jun 10, 2013
    The tutorials and the A.I have been improved, giving newcomers the chance to calmly try new tactics… before playing against experienced players that will go straight to their jugular. [April 2013]
  2. May 9, 2013
    Accomplished, if not exactly groundbreaking. [June 2013, p.80]
  3. May 9, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm is ScarCraft made better. Welcoming to newcomers, but never dumbed-down, the franchise at its best. [June 2013, p.66]